Surprise! Following a few evenings of friends and family test runs, partners Dave Reiss and Carol Ann and Moïse Emquies kick open doors tonight at 5 p.m. to their keenly awaited neighborhood seafood joint, Salt Air. If it has Reiss' (A-Frame, Sunny Spot, littlefork) stamp of approval, you know it's going to be a winner. The Salt Air team has done a rather good job of remaining mostly under the radar for the last year as the longtime Abbot Kinney restaurant transitioned out of its Capri/Wolf in Sheep's Clothing attire to a new whiteout Carol Ann and Brett Witke-designed number. This beachy bistro, with its whitewashed brick walls, Carrara marble tables, and zinc/glass-enclosed open kitchen, fits snugly with Venice's laid back bohemian yet tragically hip nature.
Chef Greg A. Daniels (of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Perry St in New York) is feeding 75 patrons in the dining room and 12 at the bar a medley of mostly familiar and some uncommon seasonal seafood-slanted classics like a lobster roll and olive oil poached salmon, but also fish skin chips with harissa and roasted cauliflower with pistachio pesto. The house chicken dish comes roasted and there's a cheeseburger with aged cheddar and ranch dressing. Excluding sides, prices fall between $6 and $39.
On the beverage side of things, note that there is a cocktail list by Brian Butler (A-Frame, Sunny Spot), but Salt Air doesn't have a full bar so he went the beer and wine-based drink route. That passionfuit and sour beer Shandy sounds promising, as does the sherry and hibiscus Cobbler.
In any event, begin your weekend right, tonight, with dinner at Salt Air. Brunch to come. Hours of operation are Sunday to Tuesday from 5 to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m to midnight. [EaterWire]